South battalion house fire

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 10:05 a.m.

South battalion house fire

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Narrative: The Spokane City Fire Dept. dispatched firefighting crews and their apparatus to 2203 S. Inland Empire Way at 14:39 hrs on Sunday afternoon, August 4th, for a reported structure fire at that address. Engine #4, from the near-by Browne's Addition neighborhood fire station, reported by radio that there was a large black plume of smoke visible in the sky as they turned south onto Inland Empire Way. In their radio report they requested that the fire be up-graded to a “working fire”, the up-grade would add an additional ladder truck to the call. Engine #4 was the first apparatus to arrive on scene. The officer on that apparatus again reported by radio that there was heavy fire at the rear of the house on the second story of the wood/framed balloon constructed structure and that it was extending farther into that space and starting to come out of the gable ends of the second story at the front and the rear of the house. Engine#4 also reported that the house appeared to be vacant and that they were going to make an aggressive offensive attack on the fire through the front door and up the staircase to the, by now, heavily involved second story. The second apparatus to arrive on scene was Ladder#4, from the same station, and they reported that they would be going inside with Engine#4 to begin the process of opening up walls and pulling down ceilings to get at the rapidly growing fire they encountered on the second floor. As additional fire crews began arriving on scene they were assigned to various tasks which included a back-up hose line to protect the crews already going inside to fight the fire, water supply, an additional hose line to protect the interior stairway to the second floor, the additional ladder crew was assigned to go to the roof to begin vertical ventilation, other crews were assigned to do a thorough search of the home for any potential victims, a Scene Safety Officer was assigned, and the mandated RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) was established for any needed rescue of a lost or down fire fighter. There were no victims in the building but there were indications that “squatters” may have been using the house. Avista was requested to respond and their crew disconnected the electrical power to the structure. There were no reports of injuries to any of the fire fighters at the scene. The building sustained severe damage on the second floor and on the underside of the roof structure; however the main floor suffered very little damage due to the quick attack by the fire fighters. The cause of this fire is being investigated by the Spokane City Fire Dept.'s Special Investigation Unit. Four engines, two senior ladders, one heavy rescue truck, and two Command Vehicles delivered 24 fire fighters to this incident.

Cause: Under investigation by members of the Spokane City Fire Dept.'s Special Investigation Unit.

Damage: Severe fire damage to the second story and to the underside of the roof structure.

# Firefighters Responding: 24

Dollar Loss: $30,000

Other Agencies Responding: AMR ambulance